#1
Wow, this is my first post here in YEARS. I've been playing guitar for a long time now but my picking technique has always seemed to slow me down. Maybe about 5 years ago when I was hardcore about practicing daily I hit a brick wall in the speed I can pick and needless to say it hasn't changed. I've played around it, using the other techniques I'm much better at (sweeping, tapping, vibrato ect.) I max out playing 16th note comfortably around 120bpm. I can push myself to about 140bpm but it's painful. Back in the day I put in HUNDREDS of hours behind the metronome to diagnosis my problem but I just can't seem to figure it out.


What I'm noticing is that the faster I pick, the smaller the motions my wrist makes. So when I get to higher speeds my wrist essentially locks, making as little motion as possible. The pick barely leaves the string. It's very uncomfortable.

I can play some pretty complicated things within the speeds I'm comfortable with as shown here: Video to show I'm not a newb ]

I'd really like to advance my playing and get past this. Any help is appreciated.
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#2
A video with no backing track and a good camera angle would help, try playing something at 100bpm 16ths, then play it at 110, 120, 130 and 140 if you can? If you do this I can give you a much better reply.

Quote by woodsballplayer
What I'm noticing is that the faster I pick, the smaller the motions my wrist makes. So when I get to higher speeds my wrist essentially locks, making as little motion as possible. The pick barely leaves the string. It's very uncomfortable.


Firstly if you feel uncomfortable you are probably tensing up - You need to check your hands, wrists, elbows, arms and shoulders for tension, and you also need to make sure you aren't gripping the pick tightly (you should apply almost no pressure when holding the pick).

I can't see much of your picking hand from the video you posted but if you are playing with bigger motions when you play slowly, then you probably aren't practicing with small enough motions to be used to playing with them. So when you have to start using smaller motions to play something at 140bpm 16ths, you aren't used to them so your body tenses up to try to compensate for it.

So the next thing you have to do is really check how you're practicing your picking. You want to be playing very slowly; slow enough that you can consciously control how big your motions are, the volume of the note you pick, the angle of the pick as you hit the string etc...

The reason you do this is so your brain can start overwriting your current picking technique with new, improved technique. Practising at faster speeds is useful when learning new songs and won't hurt your technique but you won't actually improve the core of your technique by doing it, you'll just get more used to playing whatever kind of techniques are needed to play the song.

If you need more in depth advice then please post a video as I detailed above, and I'll take a look.
#3
I had a similar problem, unfortunately compounded by injury. I could play legato at around 180-190 bpm (1/16ths), but picking was around 120 bpm accurately. For years!

Then I learned the Thumb muting technique, combined with practising ultra-slowly for around 2-3 weeks, including very conscious relaxation of fretting hand. The results were astounding to me.

I then cranked the speed and after experimenting ended up at 220 bpm, 1/16th notes, picked cleanly. But I don't really like the sound of this ... I prefer legato, so I then let the technique slide.

However, here are the key points

1/ If you pick with hand edge on/near bridge, this can exacerrbate the movement, reaching out with the pick to hit the string. This can lead to an inefficient bouncing motion with the pick. I can see this going on in your video.

2/ Thumb muting counteracts this, where the hand weight is resting on the thumb, which is itself resting on the body or lower string(s) depending which string you're picking

3/ When moving from one string to the next, move the forearm, not the wrist, to "slide" across to the target string. The pick is somehwere around 45 degree angle to the strings, sort of diagonal across the strings. The forearm moves more or less vertically across the strings. The wrist does not move at all. The first contact with the string plucks the first note

4/ All remaining activity on the string is done using miniscule wrist motion. No forearm motion.

A major breakthrough for me was finding a way around the friction between my arm and the guitar body. This was badly throwing my timing out as my motion became slightly random depending when the friction released. I just wore long sleeves, and pulled the sleeve down into my palm and gripped it. All friction problems gone!! Then I started making massive progress.


5/ Play at around 30-40 bpm, 1 note per click, and really observe your hand, ideally in a mirror so you can see the path the picking hand takes. At this speed, the brain is really taking on-board the motions needed.

6/ With the fretting hand, try just using one finger down on the string being played, and rather than lifting off each finger once it's done, tell that finger to **relax** off the string, and all other fingers to stay relaxed apart from the next one in use. That thought process was shown to me, and made a huge difference.

BTW: Thumb muting is incompatible with muted picking techniques, chugging etc ... so you need to be able to switch as needed.

Good luck.
cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Oct 14, 2014,
#4
Quote by jerrykramskoy
I had a similar problem, unfortunately compounded by injury. I could play legato at around 180-190 bpm (1/16ths), but picking was around 120 bpm accurately. For years!

Then I learned the Thumb muting technique, combined with practising ultra-slowly for around 2-3 weeks, including very conscious relaxation of fretting hand. The results were astounding to me.

I then cranked the speed and after experimenting ended up at 220 bpm, 1/16th notes, picked cleanly. But I don't really like the sound of this ... I prefer legato, so I then let the technique slide.


I'm sorry but I don't believe this in the slightest. Improving your picking from 120bpm to 220bpm (16ths) takes years, not 2-3 weeks regardless of your legato technique.

3/ When moving from one string to the next, move the forearm, not the wrist, to "slide" across to the target string. The pick is somehwere around 45 degree angle to the strings, sort of diagonal across the strings. The forearm moves more or less vertically across the strings. The wrist does not move at all. The first contact with the string plucks the first note


This is wrong, you always lead with the wrist changing strings. The forearm will move in response to the wrist moving to keep the angle roughly the same on all strings, but using the forearm to cross strings is a bad idea.

A major breakthrough for me was finding a way around the friction between my arm and the guitar body. This was badly throwing my timing out as my motion became slightly random depending when the friction released. I just wore long sleeves, and pulled the sleeve down into my palm and gripped it. All friction problems gone!! Then I started making massive progress.


You shouldn't be pressing hard enough into the guitar with your arm to get stuck like that. I had this exact problem and I used to use long sleeve shirts to "fix" the problem, when the actual solution is to relax and fix your posture.

The advice on relaxation, small motions and practicing slowly while paying attention is good.
#5
Quote by Anon17
I'm sorry but I don't believe this in the slightest. Improving your picking from 120bpm to 220bpm (16ths) takes years, not 2-3 weeks regardless of your legato technique.


Yes, it is unbelievable, but nonetheless, true. I was staggered. (I'm not a beginner, BTW .. check out my profile ... "Cut the line" track for example). I could already pick at around 160, but not dependably... sounded ok, but I knew the timing was not always perfect ... whereas around 120, the timing was perfect (started breaking down somewhere around 135/140)

Different strokes for different folks. What I said works. It's more important for sweep picking, which is what part of Thumb muting addresses. Have a look on the web.

For me, and from pro-guitarists I know, and have played with , reaching with the wrist throws the timing very slightly, which is not an issue at slow to moderately fast speeds. The forearm movement I mentioned is also very slight. Suggest you try it, and judge for yourself. That said, there are also amazing alternate pickers out there.

Main point is due to difference in body build, (lack of) joint motion, injury, guitar build, pick choice, and so on, we can't all be lumped into the same category for techniques.

Interesting you had the same arm friction problem. Thanks for the suggestion, seriously ... two main issues. 1/ I am fairly heavy build, including my arms, so relaxing places weight onto guitar body. (I know all about body/arm tension re-playing). 2/ I get hot very quickly and that's enough to create friction.

What style(s) do you play?

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Oct 15, 2014,
#6
Quote by jerrykramskoy

For me, and from pro-guitarists I know, and have played with , reaching with the wrist throws the timing very slightly, which is not an issue at slow to moderately fast speeds. The forearm movement I mentioned is also very slight. Suggest you try it, and judge for yourself. That said, there are also amazing alternate pickers out there.


It sounds like you are talking about sweep picking maybe? Almost every good alternate picker uses the wrist to cross strings unless they don't pick with the wrist to begin with. The forearm movement you might see them using is a result of the wrist changing strings and not the initial movement.

For example, Paul Gilbert is widely considered to have incredible alternate picking technique and control. Here's a video of his string skipping: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ0x6FMGIQk

Notice how he uses the predominantly uses the wrist to change/skip strings, and his forearm moves due to the wrist moving to make sure the angle isn't too extreme. The forearm doesn't do the actual string crossing motion but rather moves slightly to ensure the wrist angle doesn't get uncomfortable.

Here's a video of Marshall Harrison, who has incredible alternate and economy picking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHr9mF1OSHk

Notice how he too mainly uses the wrist with the forearm moving to compensate for the angle. It's a bit hard to see due to his picking motions being so small, but if you look at his picking hand you can clearly see him using his wrist to perform 3-4 string sweeps with his forearm moving in response to his wrist.

Main point is due to difference in body build, (lack of) joint motion, injury, guitar build, pick choice, and so on, we can't all be lumped into the same category for techniques.


I don't think this argument holds, the range of motion you need to cross strings with the wrist is well within the range of motion for any physically healthy human being.

Interesting you had the same arm friction problem. Thanks for the suggestion, seriously ... two main issues. 1/ I am fairly heavy build, including my arms, so relaxing places weight onto guitar body. (I know all about body/arm tension re-playing). 2/ I get hot very quickly and that's enough to create friction.


I've gone from very skinny to fairly heavy build myself (gym gym gym) and honestly it's just all in relaxing and finding a comfortable position for the arm. I wish I could give more in depth advice on this issue but I found that after practicing my picking a lot I just didn't get stuck on the guitar anymore with my picking arm. Just check that you aren't applying any pressure into the guitar with your picking arm, and you should be good.

If you're in a hot environment and the sweat is causing issues then perhaps try a wrist band or cooling the room down. I used to play with a fan on when it was very hot but not everyone likes this.

What style(s) do you play?


Used to play a lot of metal (thrash mainly), which is why I researched picking technique so much. I mostly play touchstyle electric guitar or percussive acoustic guitar at the moment.

EDIT: This video might make the wrist/forearm thing a lot clearer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZm1cyJVdoE
Last edited by Anon17 at Oct 15, 2014,
#7
Quote by Anon17
I'm sorry but I don't believe this in the slightest. Improving your picking from 120bpm to 220bpm (16ths) takes years, not 2-3 weeks regardless of your legato technique.




Not really I know people that got their speed up pretty fast it all depends if you know how to practice properly. It's all quality over quantity when I first started practicing lead I got my legato up to 160 Bpm at 16th notes within 6 months, and I got my single note picking up to 165 Bpm within 7 months.

I'm hitting 200 Bpm at 16th notes right now with single notes, and 220Bpm at 16th notes with legato ATM, and I've only been practicing lead for a good 10 months. I know people who got the majority of their scales up to 200 BPM at 16th notes within 6 months. It doesn't really takes years if you understand the mechanics behind building technique. I'm also hitting 16th notes at 225 BPM with the set of picking exercises I have which includes string skipping, and it's all alternative picking.

All it really takes is proper technique, and relaxation a lot of people tend to tense up when trying to build their chops up. This tends to have a huge impact on your progress with building speed in a negative way you have to be loose with your picking, and that's why you pick purely from your wrist.

Last edited by Black_devils at Oct 15, 2014,
#8
Hi Anon17,

Appreciate the detail and effort of your last post. Watch out on that gym stuff ... that's what did for me eventually (my ulnar nerve came out of its groove doing heavy tricep dips). I'll check those videos a bit later. I've just had a quick check to see what's out there on Thumb muting, and there's one video from Tom Hess that hints at it with not much detail. I have video lessons from him, on this topic, but they're paid for, and I can't post these (copyright). The technique 100% relies on the forearm moving across strings, not the wrist.

I'll persevere and see if I get over the guitar friction body. Truth is that I'm not massively into speed picking (the sound of it), so I haven't spent ages practising picking. It's many years ago when I was working on technique, but once injiured, I had to move to working on being as musical as I could with what was left. Slowing down actually did me a big favour.

Thanks again. Jerry
#10
I can't see how thumb muting requires you to use the forearm instead of the wrist - I use thumb muting with wrist picking...

@black_devils: I don't want to argue with what you people think you have achieved but if you claim to be able to pick 220bpm 16ths in under at a years practice (from starting to play the guitar) I would like documented evidence because not even the best pickers in the world will claim they made that kind of progress.

If you have already been playing for years and then spend 6 months practicing lead, then that's much more believable because you probably learn the majority of the technique beforehand.

Understanding mechanics and how to practice does not actually mean anything in terms of your actual guitar technique. You need to ingrain this into your brain and muscle memory via a lot of practice and time (to let your brain recover and learn what you are practicing). Unless you are practicing perfectly for hours a day you will not be able to improve picking that fast.

I don't know why you keep mentioning legato when the thread is about picking by the way, legato is much easier to increase speed on; mainly because people don't realise that they lose their timing when they increase their speed too quickly with legato, whereas it's very obvious if you lose timing when alternate picking.

EDIT - I thought I recognised your name, so I did a quick search: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1628428

You said yourself that after a year you were playing 135bpm pentatonics. This is not 220bpm picking in under a year of practice, which is what I say is bullshit. 135bpm in a year is perfectly reasonable if you practiced properly.
Last edited by Anon17 at Oct 15, 2014,
#11
Quote by Anon17
I can't see how thumb muting requires you to use the forearm instead of the wrist - I use thumb muting with wrist picking...

@black_devils: I don't want to argue with what you people think you have achieved but if you claim to be able to pick 220bpm 16ths in under at a years practice (from starting to play the guitar) I would like documented evidence because not even the best pickers in the world will claim they made that kind of progress.

If you have already been playing for years and then spend 6 months practicing lead, then that's much more believable because you probably learn the majority of the technique beforehand.

Understanding mechanics and how to practice does not actually mean anything in terms of your actual guitar technique. You need to ingrain this into your brain and muscle memory via a lot of practice and time (to let your brain recover and learn what you are practicing). Unless you are practicing perfectly for hours a day you will not be able to improve picking that fast.

I don't know why you keep mentioning legato when the thread is about picking by the way, legato is much easier to increase speed on; mainly because people don't realise that they lose their timing when they increase their speed too quickly with legato, whereas it's very obvious if you lose timing when alternate picking.

EDIT - I thought I recognised your name, so I did a quick search: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1628428

You said yourself that after a year you were playing 135bpm pentatonics. This is not 220bpm picking in under a year of practice, which is what I say is bullshit. 135bpm in a year is perfectly reasonable if you practiced properly.



That's not me that made that post my older brother previously owned this account; he gave me the account because I used to search around the forums long before he even handed me the account here. My brother started playing around 2 years ago I've been playing for 4 years so what are you trying to prove? Legato was mentioned in this thread that's why I posted about it.. Also understanding how to practice is a huge part in developing technique if you don't understand the importance of quality over quantity you wont make gains it's better to be extremely focused in your practice for 2 hours straight than sloppily practicing for 7 hours a day.


Why are you scouting my account for old threads was my post that unbelievable? I know tons of people that have gotten up to 200 Bpm with 16 notes playing single notes with alternative picking within 6 months of playing lead it's definitely possible just because you can't do it doesn't mean others can't. Any person that understands how to practice to gain efficient technique would know this is possible.

I've been playing rhythm, and finger style years before I even decided to practice lead guitar which was 10 months ago the last time I remembered practicing scales was a while back, but I know for a fact that my speed wasn't all that. I bounced from 100 BPM at 8th notes to 165 BPM at 16th notes within 7 months time. I've been working on my lead skills for a good 10 months now, and I can play right at 200 BPM at 16th notes clean, and in time.


I've seen 13 year olds get faster than me in a shorter time of playing so I don't understand how this can be deemed "impossible"?. Most the guitarist I know that are serious about their practice can hit well above 220 BPM at 16th notes with single note picking. Anyone I talk to that understands how to practice knows that building speed is easy if you understand how to practice lol...


I can actually pick faster with my fingers than I can with my picking so I don't really see the big deal at hitting 200 bpm at 16th notes with a pick, and not to mention I can also strum faster than I pick so I understood the picking from your wrist technique a long time ago. It's not that hard to build chops if you know what you're doing, and understanding the basic mechanics behind the technique you are doing is required. Picking from the wrist, and angling the pick at a 90 degree angle staying relaxed, practicing to a metronome. Knowing how much BPM to bump the metronome up at when you get a certain exercise down this is all important to learning techniques, and building upon them I can't stress this enough.




EDIT- I just found a post about how you pick from your elbow?


https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1459796


Just found another one of your threads about angling the pick

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1468747

You're telling me the mechanics behind technique don't matter lmfao?


Another thread by you


Elbow to wrist picking...


https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1480013


Just by looking at your threads you didn't even understand how to practice properly no wonder you think it's impossible to build speed in a certain period of time lol...

Another one of your posts.
"Holding the pick, and how much it affects your technique"

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1394914
Last edited by Black_devils at Oct 15, 2014,
#12
I don't really know how to respond to this, your entire post sounds like you jerking yourself off about how fast you can play. Can you provide some proof of anything you said?

My whole original point was that is it not possible to go from a maximum speed of 120bpm 16ths alternate picking to a speed of 220bpm 16ths alternate picking in 3 weeks. If your technique maxes out at 120bpm 16ths then the amount of practice you need to get your technique to the point it can play 220bpm 16ths would take much, much longer than 3 weeks to do. From every single account on this forum with videos to show their technique, it seems to take people on average years to make that kind of progress.

If you can go from 120bpm -> 220bpm in 3 weeks, you'd be at Shawn Lane's technique within a year or so (300bpm alternate picking) at that insane rate of progress. I don't see anyone else picking as well as Shawn Lane.

It's like someone claiming to have gone from a 100kg squat to a 300kg squat in 3 weeks. Most professional shred guitarists with thousands of hours of practice max out picking at maybe 240bpm 16ths. You are claiming that within a few months someone could get essentially to this level of picking, which I find very hard to believe unless all these professional shred guitarists were using incredibly inefficient practice methods compared to yours (which they weren't).

EDIT - The links of mine you posted were from 3 years ago. I will happily admit my technique was shit 3 years ago, that is why I posted on these forums. It took me about of year of solid an hour a day picking practice to get good at picking, and I don't mind admitting that. I probably took longer than most people to get good, doesn't mean your claim is any less ridiculous.

Quote by Black_devils
You're telling me the mechanics behind technique don't matter


I never said anything like this, you are just putting words in my mouth.

It's funny because you quoted one of my posts the other day on picking and said it was correct. You said this:

Quote by Black_devils
You hit the nail right on the head! I know people that got up to 200 BPM at 16th notes with a certain set of scales just because of all the advice you, and I have posted. It's not really that hard to develop technique people just make it that way. The OP's current max speed is at 70 BPMs at 16th notes if he practices correctly he can get to 150 within 4 months.


So you agreed with my technique post and said it would take 4 months to get from 70bpm to 150bpm. Why do you now say 120bpm to 220bpm would take 3 weeks?

I feel like you are taking my posts as a personal attack, which they aren't. You might be able to play 220bpm 16ths really cleanly, you might have got there in a year of serious practice after playing the guitar for years before. This doesn't mean people can get from nothing to 220bpm in six months, it's just a silly claim to be honest.
Last edited by Anon17 at Oct 15, 2014,
#13
Quote by Anon17
I don't really know how to respond to this, your entire post sounds like you jerking yourself off about how fast you can play. Can you provide some proof of anything you said?


If you can go from 120bpm -> 220bpm in 3 weeks, you'd be at Shawn Lane's technique within a year or so (300bpm alternate picking) at that insane rate of progress. I don't see anyone else picking as well as Shawn Lane.

It's like someone claiming to have gone from a 100kg squat to a 300kg squat in 3 weeks. Most professional shred guitarists with thousands of hours of practice max out picking at maybe 240bpm 16ths. You are claiming that within a few months someone could get essentially to this level of picking, which I find very hard to believe unless all these professional shred guitarists were using incredibly inefficient practice methods compared to yours (which they weren't).

EDIT - The links of mine you posted were from 3 years ago. I will happily admit my technique was shit 3 years ago, that is why I posted on these forums. It took me about of year of solid an hour a day picking practice to get good at picking, and I don't mind admitting that. I probably took longer than most people to get good, doesn't mean your claim is any less ridiculous.


I never said anything like this, you are just putting words in my mouth.

It's funny because you quoted one of my posts the other day on picking and said it was correct.


My claims are any less ridiculous? Dude I said that I pick at 220 BPM at 16ths not that I play scales at "220 bpm" I think you seriously need to re read before posting anything I hit scales at 200 BPM at 16ths.. Did I ever claim to get to my speed to 220 within 3 weeks? No I haven't i'm at 200 BPM at 16ths with single note picking scales in 10 months which is totally possible. Out of all the links I've posted you never could reach that speed in 10 months because you didn't understand how to practice.


Just reading them was horrible picking from your elbow? C'mon now I don't think you're really reading what I posted i'm not writing about how you understand how to practice as of this moment, but 3 years ago you picked from your elbows. So reaching that speed seemed impossible to you because you didn't know how to practice, but it is for people that understand how to build technique lol...
#14
Quote by Anon17

Understanding mechanics and how to practice does not actually mean anything in terms of your actual guitar technique.



"Understanding mechanics and how to practice does not actually mean anything in terms of your actual guitar technique. "

What a contradiction! "Understanding the mechanics and how to practice does not actually mean anything in terms of your actual guitar technique"

How am I putting words in your mouth? When you just posted this i'm not making this up lol.. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. How does not understanding the mechanics and how to practice not mean anything in terms of your actual guitar technique? It means everything for your technique By the way I never said it was possible to get up to 120- 220 BPM at 16ths within 3 weeks wtf? I just said in my previous post that it's well possible to obtain speed within a few months of practice, and by no means do I take your posts as a personal attack i'm just laying down facts.


Someone could get to 170 Bpm at 16ths by the end of the year by starting from scratch if leads all they focused on there's a lot of people out there that just focus on one style so it's easier to excel in it for them. It's not impossible especially if that's their main goal. It's different for me because i'm more on the versatile side I can play many styles very well, but if it's their main focus when they're just starting it's very possible.


.
Last edited by Black_devils at Oct 15, 2014,
#15
Quote by Black_devils
My claims are any less ridiculous? Dude I said that I pick at 220 BPM at 16ths not that I play scales at "220 bpm"


So what are you picking at 220bpm? If you are literally picking one note then I totally believe you because that isn't a hard thing to do. If you are talking about alternate picking different frets at 220bpm 16ths (which is what I have been talking about) then you can't gain that speed in the times you are saying you can.


Out of all the links I've posted you never could reach that speed in 10 months because you didn't understand how to practice.

Just reading them was horrible picking from your elbow? C'mon now I don't think you're really reading what I posted i'm not writing about how you understand how to practice as of this moment, but 3 years ago you picked from your elbows. So reaching that speed seemed impossible to you because you didn't know how to practice, but it is for people that understand how to build technique lol...


You do realise I can pick at the speeds you are talking about now right?

Like I said, 3 years ago I didn't know how to practice. Then I learnt how by reading posts on this forum and asking questions, and now I know how to practice. As I posted above (which you ignored, surprise surprise) you completely and utterly agreed with my massive post about alternate picking a few days back, so you can't claim I don't understand how to practice since you completely agreed with me.

Obviously I took several years to learn to pick properly but that's irrelevant to my argument - If I or any other adult practiced picking perfectly from the second I started playing guitar, we would not reach 220bpm 16ths alternate picking notes in a few months of practice. Nor would you be able to reach 220bpm 16ths from 120bpm 16ths in 3 weeks even by practicing perfectly.

Quote by Black_devils
What a contradiction! "Understanding the mechanics and how to practice does not actually mean anything in terms of your actual guitar technique"


What that post means is that just because you know how to practice, doesn't mean you instantly gain the technique on the guitar. You still have to spend a lot of time practicing to turn that knowledge into technique.

That shouldn't be a hard thing to understand, reading comprehension isn't hard. You are literally trying to take things I say out of context to argue with...

By the way I never said it was possible to get up to 120- 220 BPM at 16ths within 3 weeks wtf?


I said (in reply to another poster) that the progress mentioned wasn't possible. You said:

Not really I know people that got their speed up pretty fast it all depends if you know how to practice properly.


This implies you know people who didn't take years (and therefore a year or less) to get to 220bpm 16ths picking from scratch. This just isn't a claim that I believe if you are talking about proper alternate picking lines at that speed.

Quote by Black_devils
Someone could get to 170 Bpm at 16ths by the end of the year by starting from scratch if leads all they focused on there's a lot of people out there that just focus on one style so it's easier to excel in it for them. It's not impossible especially if that's their main goal. It's different for me because i'm more on the versatile side I can play many styles very well, but if it's their main focus when they're just starting it's very possible.


I actually agree with this, it kinda contradicts half the things you said though lol.

170bpm 16ths alternate picking in a year would require a teacher and pretty much perfect practice for a few hours a day though, although that's a value I think is much more possible.
Last edited by Anon17 at Oct 15, 2014,
#16
Quote by Anon17
So what are you picking at 220bpm? If you are literally picking one note then I totally believe you because that isn't a hard thing to do. If you are talking about alternate picking different frets at 220bpm 16ths (which is what I have been talking about) then you can't gain that speed in the times you are saying you can.








Dude you obviously don't read man I've posted that I have a certain set of picking exercise which include string skipping at 220 BPM at 16th notes. Notice how I put " Alternative Picking exercise" It's a basic exercise that a lot of people know how to do.


You mute your strings with your left hand then you proceed to focus on your picking with your right hand. Picking each individual string for a bar each moving up from the High E to low E.With the string skipping you do the same thing, but your going up one string then back on etc.

By the way I said that I pick scales at 200 BPM at 16th notes not "220". You obviously haven't read any of my posts. I'm done as of now because this whole thing is pointless. I can't really make any sense to a person that doesn't even read my posts.
Last edited by Black_devils at Oct 15, 2014,
#17
Quote by Black_devils
Dude you obviously don't read man I've posted that I have a certain set of picking exercise which include string skipping at 220 BPM at 16th notes. Notice how I put "Picking exercise" It's a basic exercise that a lot of people know how to do.


The vast majority of people would assume that a string skipping alternate picking exercise meant picking single notes in this manner, not tremolo picking. You could have clarified at any time by adding the word tremolo or mentioning what the exercise is. I don't know why in the world you'd assume that "picking exercise" refers to one specific exercise, we have a sticky in this very forum with hundreds of picking exercises...

By the way I said that I pick scales at 200 BPM at 16th notes not "220". You obviously haven't read any of my posts. I'm done as of now because this is whole thing is pointless. I can't really make any sense to a person that doesn't even read my posts.


If you think that 200bpm 16ths in a year is much more likely than 220bpm then whatever dude.

I have read and responded to all your points, you have ignored all my points and tried to claim things I said 3-4 years ago were things I said today. If you want to cop out now then go ahead, just please stop spreading bad information as it is going to discourage people who have spent a year correcting their picking technique and getting to a moderate speed; there are plenty of people on this forum who complain they aren't making progress fast enough and want to quit, if you are saying that people should be at these speeds in this amount of time then it's going to make the problem worse.
#18
Quote by Anon17
The vast majority of people would assume that a string skipping alternate picking exercise meant picking single notes in this manner, not tremolo picking. You could have clarified at any time by adding the word tremolo or mentioning what the exercise is. I don't know why in the world you'd assume that "picking exercise" refers to one specific exercise, we have a sticky in this very forum with hundreds of picking exercises...





There you go again I stated in my previous post "I have a certain set of picking exercises" I never in any of my posts mentioned that I do single note picked scales at 220 BPM. I haven't even ignored any of your points, but you've ignored many of mines. I've been nothing, but clear in all my posts, but you're all over the place giving things different meanings to what they really are sadly. I always gave a proper description of what I was writing about I've stated many times that I do single picked notes at 200 BPM with scales, and I've also stated numerous amounts of time how I have a certain set of picking exercises at 220 BPM.

"Picking exercises" is a dead give away for what I wrote i'm pretty sure there's a lot of people that could understand what a picking exercise is you don't have to be specific in the case in that it's a tremolo picking exercise because "picking exercise" is a dead give away. Honestly dude you're making things more complicated than they need to be I left some solid advice on this thread, and nothing I ever posted was discouraging. Maybe it's discouraging to you because you couldn't do it in that certain time frame, but I highly doubt it would discourage anyone else trying to build their speed up.
Last edited by Black_devils at Oct 15, 2014,
#19
Quote by Black_devils
"Picking exercises" is a dead give away for what I wrote i'm pretty sure there's a lot of people that could understand what a picking exercise is you don't have to be specific in the case in that it's a tremolo picking exercise because "picking exercise" is a dead give away.


No it isn't "Tremolo picking exercise" would be a dead give away. Picking exercise could be any kind of picking and considering this thread was originally about alternate picking notes any rational person would assume the phrase "picking exercise" would refer to an exercise about alternate picking notes...

Honestly dude you're making things more complicated than they need to be I left some solid advice on this thread, and nothing I ever posted was discouraging.


The only advice you wrote was "relax, pick from the wrist, angle the pick and use a metronome". Fair enough that is solid advice, but I covered all of that in my post and the entire rest of your posts have been purely to argue with me.

Maybe it's discouraging to you because you couldn't do it in that certain time frame, but I highly doubt it would discourage anyone else trying to build their speed up.


Again did you read my post? Why would it be discouraging to me? I can already pick at this speed. My progress was slower than it should have been, and I made tons of mistakes when learning; this forum helped me fix that. This is why I post here to help other people out, it's only fair to give back to the community that helped me. I don't see why me making slow progress is an argument for it being possible to pick scales at 200bpm 16ths in 6 months from scratch...

I know people who got the majority of their scales up to 200 BPM at 16th notes within 6 months. It doesn't really takes years if you understand the mechanics behind building technique. I'm also hitting 16th notes at 225 BPM with the set of picking exercises I have which includes string skipping, and it's all alternative picking.


This is what I was arguing with. This post implies you are talking about alternate picking notes (you didn't say tremolo or anything at all...) and you say people can get 200bpm 16ths alternate picking scales in 6 months. All my posts are relevant to this argument.

(You also ignored my post where I mentioned that getting to 200bpm 16ths is going to be almost as hard and time consuming as 220, so constantly complaining that I mixed up the two numbers isn't really helping your argument)
#20
Quote by Anon17
No it isn't "Tremolo picking exercise" would be a dead give away. Picking exercise could be any kind of picking and considering this thread was originally about alternate picking notes any rational person would assume the phrase "picking exercise" would refer to an exercise about alternate picking notes...


The only advice you wrote was "relax, pick from the wrist, angle the pick and use a metronome". Fair enough that is solid advice, but I covered all of that in my post and the entire rest of your posts have been purely to argue with me.


Again did you read my post? Why would it be discouraging to me? I can already pick at this speed. My progress was slower than it should have been, and I made tons of mistakes when learning; this forum helped me fix that. This is why I post here to help other people out, it's only fair to give back to the community that helped me. I don't see why me making slow progress is an argument for it being possible to pick scales at 200bpm 16ths in 6 months from scratch...


This is what I was arguing with. This post implies you are talking about alternate picking notes (you didn't say tremolo or anything at all...) and you say people can get 200bpm 16ths alternate picking scales in 6 months. All my posts are relevant to this argument.

(You also ignored my post where I mentioned that getting to 200bpm 16ths is going to be almost as hard and time consuming as 220, so constantly complaining that I mixed up the two numbers isn't really helping your argument)



Do you feel better about yourself now?
#21
Are you going to debate about picking or attempt to make me angry?

If it's the former post something on topic and I'll reply. If it's the latter you're wasting your time dude, I feel great about myself.
#22
Um. Hi, I'll try and get a better video up this week. Sorry, been very busy with college. I appreciate the interest though.
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#23
So this is me picking at my break up speed in slow motion. Very tense in the hand region (not so much the wrist). The pattern begins around 0:30

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2DSuKr793o
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
Last edited by woodsballplayer at Oct 15, 2014,
#24
@Anon17
I've checked the videos, thanks. Paul Gilbert is a full-on alternate picker. Works great.
Never heard of Marshall Harrison. Great technique. Now he's more interesting to watch. That is relaxation in action. Check his forearm. Problem is at this speed it's very subjective what moves what.

Again, back to thumb muting ... I'll say this one last time ... the technique is 100% reliant on the forearm moving across strings, the wrist moving while on the string. If you're not doing this, then that is some other technique. Whatever works for you.

Suggest you back off giving black_devil a hard time. I've no idea how many millions of guitarists there are, but it would extremely foolhard for me to claim that they all have the same ability as myself. People are different. Definitely not something to get wound up about. I can happily accept the fact that people can very rapidly get technique together, if that's what motivates them.

cheers, Jerry
#25
@woodballsplayer

Four things stand out from your video. First is your pick is itself bending slightly (what gauge is it)? This will start throwing timing. Second is your hand is coming away from the strings and back down, as you pick (bouncing). That too will cause problems. Third, on upstrokes, the pick is moving a lot in your grip, much more than your downstrokes. Fourth (I think) ... the angle of your pick looks odd. It looks like your angling the pick like this:

-------------------------------
------------ / ----------------

as opposed to like this

-------------------------------
------------ \ ----------------

Experiment with that angle.

cheers, Jerry
#26
@woodsballplayer:

Ok so first if you are tense in your hand you want to check how you hold your pick. From the video you can see the pick tends to bounce a lot more than you'd want it to, so try holding the pick a bit further down; since you only use the very bottom of the pick to actually hit the strings holding the pick further down will force the pick to move much less.

You also need to check how hard you're holding the pick, you shouldn't really be exerting any tension on the pick. I noticed your three other fingers on the right hand seem to be curled up quite a lot into your palm, so try letting these fingers relax. They should be at almost the same angle as the index finger, with the index finger being slightly in front of those three fingers so they don't accidentally hit the strings. Basically the idea is your picking hand should look almost the same as your hand when you relax it by your side, the only real change is bringing the fingers slightly in so you can hold the pick.

As Jerry said you could change the angle of your pick slightly more clockwise, it will make it a bit easier to pick than having the pick in line with the strings. Bear in mind that ideally you should be able to pick with any reasonable angle of the pick, but it will probably always be easier to pick when you angle it at about 30-45 degrees to the string.

Quote by jerrykramskoy
Check his forearm. Problem is at this speed it's very subjective what moves what.


Like I said check the video for moments where he crosses more than one string - You can clearly see the wrist angle changing until the forearm catches up, because the wrist is the main body part used to change strings. It's not subjective at all.

Again, back to thumb muting ... I'll say this one last time ... the technique is 100% reliant on the forearm moving across strings, the wrist moving while on the string. If you're not doing this, then that is some other technique. Whatever works for you.


No it isn't another technique. Thumb muting literally means you mute the strings below the string you're playing with your thumb. You can do this while moving your wrist, elbow, forearm or even whole arm, it is irrelevant which motion you do providing your thumb is gently touching the strings.

Suggest you back off giving black_devil a hard time. I've no idea how many millions of guitarists there are, but it would extremely foolhard for me to claim that they all have the same ability as myself. People are different. Definitely not something to get wound up about. I can happily accept the fact that people can very rapidly get technique together, if that's what motivates them.


I'm not claiming this at all, please read my posts properly. People of course learn at different speeds, but there is a limit on how quickly your muscle memory and brain learn guitar technique. There is absolutely no evidence of someone people able to pick up a guitar and pick at 200bpm 16ths in 6 months, or go from 120 16ths to 220 16ths picking in 3 weeks.

There is a difference between someone learning quickly and claiming you can do thousands of hours worth of practice in the time frame of maybe at most 250 hours in 3 weeks (assuming you practice picking for 12 hours a day, which is already ridiculous). This is ignoring the fact that it takes a fair bit of time for your muscle memory to adapt to new technique and for your brain to overwrite your old technique. The rate of learning in guitar does not differ this much, and considering the amount of evidence for needing so much practice where is the evidence of people learning so superhumanly fast?
#27
It's actually pretty eye opening watching myself in slow motion. I agree completely with what you guys have to say. Honestly I think the angel that I hold the pick might be the problem, I'm going to start slow and try to work it out. Maybe in a week or so I'll post up another vid of where I'm at.

Anything else I should take into consideration?

What would you recommend practicing? I'm kind of worried that if I play regular I'm going to mess up the progress I'm making at the slower speeds.
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#28
Quote by woodsballplayer
Anything else I should take into consideration?


Make sure there is no tension anywhere at all if possible, especially in the grip of your pick. You might think you are holding the pick with the minimum amount of tension, but there is a 99.99999% chance you can hold it with much less tension.

What would you recommend practicing? I'm kind of worried that if I play regular I'm going to mess up the progress I'm making at the slower speeds.


If you play at full speeds your brain isn't going to be able to write this technique into your muscle memory so it doesn't really matter too much.

The important thing is to practice perfectly when you do play slowly, so the brain writes this perfect technique into your muscle memory. I'd highly recommend picking hard things, check the exercises sticky and look at the video on the chromatic string skipping spider - That shit will improve you picking so much if you practice it maybe 20 minutes a day (half starting on a downstroke, half starting on an upstroke).
#29
Thanks for the reply.

How do I get my hand to stop bouncing up and down every time I pick? Obviously there will be some bounce at you pass the pick over the string.

I hand pretty big hands, do you think using Jazz 3's might actually be hurting me?

Do you have any reference videos of what the pick stroke should look like?
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#30
Honestly most people tend to lose the bounce after a lot of quality, slow practice. I used to have a bounce and (as much of a vague answer this is) it just kind of went away after a while. Again I think the main thing that helped was picking very hard things instead of easy scale runs.

If you grip the Jazz IIIs correctly then I don't think you'll have a problem, but only you can tell if you are truely comfortable holding a pick with the size of your hands. If it feels comfortable now then I doubt the issue is with your pick, although if you want to experiment with other picks go ahead. I'd recommend holding the pick nearer to the tip, as in your video there is a lot of empty space between the tip and your thumb meaning the pick has much more space to bounce around in your hand.

Try watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkeyHyIgqvY&list=UUbo9n5Y8ojo5Q_4RnqPthvA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT23yafjAN4&list=UUbo9n5Y8ojo5Q_4RnqPthvA. I can't find any good slow motion picking videos at this moment but if you look at great pickers such as Paul Gilbert you should be able to get the general idea of what you should be doing.
#31
So I finally had a few hours to practice today. It's weird, I can play 16th notes perfectly, spot on technique at around 80bpm, it starts breaking up at around 100bpm and is totally forced at 120bpm.

I did 16th note runs at around 75bpm for about 10 solid minutes, it felt fine, felt like I could do it in my sleep. Afterwards I wouldn't say my forearm was sore but it definitely felt like I had worked it out. Is that normal? Or bad?

I have a few really complicated patterns that I'm going to be practicing very slow, about 40bpm in conjunction with steady 16th note picking at the higher bpm's (to build stamina). I'm going to try to practice atleast an hour each day this week and see what happens.

Edit: I have to say it's quite fun to get back into my technique, it's been years since I've tried improving.
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
Last edited by woodsballplayer at Oct 19, 2014,
#32
Quote by woodsballplayer
So I finally had a few hours to practice today. It's weird, I can play 16th notes perfectly, spot on technique at around 80bpm, it starts breaking up at around 100bpm and is totally forced at 120bpm.

I did 16th note runs at around 75bpm for about 10 solid minutes, it felt fine, felt like I could do it in my sleep. Afterwards I wouldn't say my forearm was sore but it definitely felt like I had worked it out. Is that normal? Or bad?

I have a few really complicated patterns that I'm going to be practicing very slow, about 40bpm in conjunction with steady 16th note picking at the higher bpm's (to build stamina). I'm going to try to practice atleast an hour each day this week and see what happens.

Edit: I have to say it's quite fun to get back into my technique, it's been years since I've tried improving.



Just seems to me like you're trying to run before you can really walk. Why would it make any sense that you can play 16th notes at 80bpm perfectly, but not expect to struggle out your technical abilities hitting 120? It takes a while to build solid chops up just take it slow, and you'll get where you want to be.
#33
^ This is correct.

So you have spot on technique at 80bpm but it starts to break up at 100bpm. How is your technique at 85bpm? Is it ever so slightly uncomfortable but otherwise spot on? If so, maybe try practicing a bit at 85bpm (but if you start to make mistakes drop back to 80bpm).

It will take a lot of time to increase, it's going to be annoying going to slowly for a while but once you break the 120bpm barrier (which does not happen by forcing speed, I can't emphasise this enough) it will probably get easier (not quicker) to improve since your technique will have to be at a certain level to play at this speed.